We arrived at Uccello Lane in September 2012 and the garden was lush and green – overgrown but ready for work.
As the summer approached we were mindful that the growth had to be cleared back – in case of snakes and the like. Also we were constantly discovering plants hidden under trees or being strangled by natives left to overtake some areas. Six huge skips were filled quickly as we kept going deeper and deeper into the garden.
An amazing irrigation system was found plus there were at least 4 big water tanks which were filled from the runoff from the roof. Both these were a blessing in this first summer.
For the first 18 months we just cleared the areas where plants had been left to grow wild – blackberries and weeds of every sort were thriving – and no pruning meant ground covers had turned into bushes!.
Trees at Uccello Lane
We did the back first as there was a lot of undergrowth and snakes were on our mind. Trav the Treeman came to look at the many trees and pruned back as well as removing dead trees and dangerous branches. That made all the difference and we started to see how amazing the “bones” of the garden were – many large trees of all kinds – over 30 years old at least were priceless and remain to this day a feature of the garden.
Next we looked at the at the gardens that we could through the windows from our house – “The Bank”. It was my view out of my study and as I work from home in 2020 I am so glad that we started the planting then – as it looks wonderful all year round. The Wisteria frames the view especially out of the conservatory.
Just past “the Bank” is the edible garden. It is here we grow our vegetables especially tomatoes in raised garden beds. We have some flower beds to plant seasonal color like our poppies & cosmos, herbs like coriander, parsley and the rosemary hedge. Behind that is the chook pen “Casa di Paolo” and some fruit trees like lemon, pear & figs.
So by now we were ready to tackle the back area – it was vast but I had in mind a Secret Garden, a Birch Forest and a Wisteria Colonnade – I had been reading everything I could about Edna Walling & Ellis Stone. I wanted a natural roomed garden full of surprises but there was a lot of work ahead. Adam from Three Colors Green and I talked for ages – we thought we needed a plan – but as we later discovered everything evolved.
The Secret Garden
Edna Walling – Gardener